Reba McEntire ‘Couldn’t Be Happier’ About Son Shelby Blackstock’s Racing
Reba McEntire's 21-year-old son Shelby Blackstock drove the No. 51 at Daytona International Speedway on his debut as a professional race car driver this past January. The country superstar said then of her son, "We’re very proud and very thankful to God for keeping him safe. I’m very happy that he’s racing because that’s his passion," and now she's sharing his story.
Blackstock dropped out of the University of Arizona his freshman year to race professionally, a career that really started after a meal with a good friend of his parents. Reba tells The Boot, "We were going to put him into the ITT Technical school and let him work on cars and be a mechanic, and then on his last day of school, a good friend of ours, Pat Manley, said, 'I've got a friend [Jim Click]. I want you to go to brunch with me.'"
That brunch date turned out to be an invitation to New York to work on Click's pit crew. Last weekend, he was at the helm of a Click race car at a Grand Am race. Reba exclaims, "He went from 18 to third before he handed it over to Michael McGovern, who was the second and more professional driver of the team. Who would have thought it? If it wasn't for Pat Manley and Jim Click, Shelby probably would never have realized his dream."
Reba and her husband Narvel Blackstock go to every race they can. "That first time when that green flag drops, my stomach goes right to my throat, and then it goes back down and then I'm OK, but, boy, that roar is tremendous," Reba admits.
Reba says that ever since he was little, all her son Shelby would ever talk about was cars. When the country star realized her boy was not happy at college, she asked him what would truly make him happy, and he replied, 'Racing, mom, I want to race cars.'"
Racing is really the same family type of experience as her past profession in the rodeo, and as Reba says, "It's all like a family. I feel so grateful that he is so blessed to be in such a wonderful family again, but now in the racing business. So I couldn't be happier for him."
Blackstock knows what it means to have his family give him the thumbs up: "Me, personally, I don't think I'm fully as ready as I need to be because I'm still learning the track and still learning the car. Little by little, I want to make this into a career. [My parents are] supportive, and they understand this is what I want to do." If he's as good as a driver as his mother is as a singer, he cannot be anything but a winner!